Sadly, the majority of creators in LittleBigPlanet are still struggling with the notion of designing levels with unique concepts in mind. Media Molecule tries to keep it simple with moderation – create a level that is yours, without penises, Mario or some combination of the two. Penises aren’t trademarked (they’re just rude), but Mario is and Media Molecule is just trying to protect its backside from lawsuits.
In a recent interview with IGN (via Kotaku), MM co-founder Alex Evans said that not all IP owners are up in arms over users recreating their assets. In fact, some IP holders are more than happy to let users favorably represent their stuff.
…the other point is the number of IP owners who came up to us and said please whitelist us – we’ll never ever ask you to pull infringing stuff. I can’t say who that is, but those two things really shocked me, I think it shocked [the IP holders], who were like, hang on, my IP’s being represented and it’s being represented really well. The IP holders have to have last say over the representation of their brand, and that’s fair enough, so we’ve always got to have a method for people misusing a brand, but what’s been really lovely is how well represented so many brands are.
I wonder if, as LBP ages, we’ll get a list of properties that we can mess with? Or should I say, favorably mess with?